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Lucy Sugerman: she’s the voice

Emma Macdonald

Fresh from the excitement of shooting her blind audition on The Voice, Canberra’s newest reality TV star tells us why she chose Seal as her mentor and just how nervous she was to perform.

While promos had already let the cat out of the bag in terms of local singing prodigy Lucy Sugerman appearing before the judges of The Voice and causing something of a sensation, tonight a national audience saw the 15-year-old enthusiastically buzzed through by three out of four judges (booo Delta!) after a stunning rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.

We can’t say too much about how far she gets but it’s clear that Canberra has another reality TV star in its midst, and the rest of the country is very likely to fall in love with Lucy’s pure vocals and passion for her art too.

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Lucy Sugerman is Canberra’s great hope on The Voice Australia

Wise beyond her years and possessing an introspection and self-awareness born of countless hours spent in her bedroom composing scores and writing lyrics about her emotions, Lucy has been singing professionally since the age of nine when she performed at her aunt’s wedding. There’s no doubt comparisons will be made with US The Voice sensation Grace VanderWaal, and yes, Lucy plays the ukulele (as well as piano, guitar, drums and violin – in which she last year completed her AMEB 8th Grade examinations.)

Lucy told HerCanberra that she had genuinely not determined who she would choose to be her mentor when she auditioned as she wanted to speak with her judges as individuals.

“As corny as it sounds I didn’t already have someone picked out. I wanted to see if I had a connection with any of them. Seal kept mentioning songwriting. He said he would help me find the answers and that I could find them within myself. He is big on self-expression. I picked him because he is awesome and I am so happy, I made the right choice.”

She also made the right choice in song – taking a Bowie’s late 60’s psychedelic folk rock anthem and making it eerily beautiful.

“I really wanted a song that was different and unexpected. I think Bowie was an incredible artist and I hope I did justice to it.”

Lucy’s parents Michael and Lynne first knew their daughter was gifted musically when she sang Sarah McLachlan’s Angel back to her mother in perfect pitch at age two – before she could even string a sentence together.

Citing Taylor Swift as her ultimate idol, Lucy shows a savvy understanding, however, of the glamour of the industry and the unreality of social media in general. Her song Number One Alpha Girl shows why she is a great role model for young teens, and her stable family life – she is an A student at St Clare’s College – has kept her grounded while her profile has risen in recent years. Lucy has already been crowned an Australian National Busking Champion for two years running, played in this year’s National Folk Festival lineup and became the 2017 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year for Arts and Multimedia.

Lucy credits her school with enormous support through the recent upheaval of The Voice, and has the attitude that even though she will have a career in performing, she is capable of studying hard too.

“I really mean it when I say that I don’t have any other desire to do anything in life other than sing. But I like to try hard at everything I do and my school has been amazing in checking in with me to make sure I am coping with balancing schoolwork and music.”

Seasoned performer though she might be, Lucy admits that The Voice is next level for her and on her blind audition night she was the most nervous she has been in all of her 15 years.

“‘The production team were fantastic at helping me calm my nerves as much as possible.”

She understands that the exposure provided by the show catapults her into a new league and once the show is over (she’s not giving anything away) she will take every advantage of that.

“Some people might assume that once you’ve been on The Voice that it will all fall in your lap. I am assuming that once the show is over that’s when the hard work starts. I will be looking at booking gigs, recording a lot, performing as much as I can. This is really where I make it happen.”

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Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism - including a Walkley or two - along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials. More about the Author

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